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Jun 6, 201309:07 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

I like and admire Bill Lueders – off campus

I like Bill Lueders. I respect Bill Lueders. He is a hardworking, ethical, and usually accurate journalist. He is also as liberal as a tenured sociology professor.

Bill is the star of the Center for Investigative Journalism. The Legislature’s budget-writing committee wants to kick the center off campus. The center is a privately funded outfit. One of its major benefactors is the liberal moneyman George Soros.

What do you think the reaction would be from Democrats if the center were funded by the Koch Brothers? How would they like the MacIver Institute ensconced at our public university?

In fact, Bill Lueders’ most recent effort is a defense of a proposed PBS hit job on the Koch Brothers (“... the role of corporate bigwigs in the crackdown on public employee unions”). Don’t bother looking for a CIJ investigation on the excesses of the teachers union.

Bill and I are in the same business. We are advocacy journalists – me from the right, Bill from the left. The difference is I admit it.

Bill once celebrated a UW professor’s ill-considered remark that Republican voters are stupid, in the wake of the national Republican tsunami in 2010. Lueders wrote (in a column headlined “The Triumph of Stupidity”) that it was “The answer I’ve been looking for.” Sure, it’s his opinion, but it is an insulting and tendentious opinion. Do you really think it is possible to divest oneself of such bias as if it were a baseball cap?

The UW professor apologized for his statement; Bill never has.

The Center for Investigative Journalism remains free to ply its trade but will have to do so without the office space and cover of objectivity that its association with the UW journalism department conveys.

I explicate here at RightWisconsin (pay wall), in sharp disagreement with the boss, Charlie Sykes.

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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Jun 6, 2013 05:21 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Personally I've never particularly liked the left-right approach to journalism as it misses a lot of real issues by looking at the world through ideological glasses. Would prefer a business press that really utilized real journalism mixed with disciplines developed by the business community, and based on real research. There are some major issues facing this region today- state eligibility formulas do not work in high cost of living counties- how is the regional medical system going to deal with the disportionate number of folks tossed off Badgercare here without raising all our premiums even higher. Just the issue of costing health care would be a nice one - go beyond the rhetoric because medical care does not fit well to the free market model (i.e. do you want to pay less for a lower grade surgeon?) Do science researchers at the UW need additional management skills to deal with the effects of the Walker changes - do they get any managemnt training now to deal with the fact they are a) often carrying medical loads, b) teaching and c) managing multiple multimillion grants with multiple staff . These are issues the business community really needs to look at especially in this region which often gets bled (and this is as true of Doyle as well as Walker) to cover needs elsewhere in the state.

Jun 7, 2013 09:04 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Another difference between you and Bill. Bill likes to use actual facts to show why he has the opinion he has. You like to jump to the conclusion without any substancial facts (ie Paul Soglin). And when the victim points out you have no facts, you don't admit you were wrong or even lied you still go after the victim. Looks like you could be called a bully.

Jun 7, 2013 10:33 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Anon at 9:04

You hit the nail right on the head. Blaska never met a fact he couldn't bully his way around. Example: His blathering and bluster regarding the new mining rules were the stuff of legend. He knew nothing about the old rule, the new rule, or any miniscule facet of geology. Yet was more than willing to carry water for the mining proponents. His writings and public pronouncements on the subject were the source of much laughter among folks in the profession, and will continue to be during the life (albeit short) of the G-Tac project.

And to make any comparison between Blaska and Bill L.( as he does in the 5th paragraph) is utterly ridiculous. Lueders IS a journalist. Blaska fancies himself as the WI Limbaugh.

Old Baldy.

Jun 7, 2013 10:42 am
 Posted by  Mad4Madison

Interesting view with respect to free market model and health care...

First, you confuse lower cost with lower grade. Those are mutually exclusive. I can have the same grade of product or service and have a different price. The inverse is also true. Take your example of surgeons. If one was indeed lower grade, why would a free market support that? He or she would not have any patients...

Of course that reminds me of a joke:

What do you call the person who graduated last in their class from medical school?

Answer: Doctor.

Free market does work in health care. As does competition. Do you think Epic would be in business is there were no competition among the providers of health care? What would the incentive be for providers to spend millions of dollars to create efficiencies when there would be no reward - because if I lower the price of the service, I am now lower grade??

As for researchers... seems to me the management skills needed to handle multi-million dollar grants and staff would also translate to providing whatever you are referring to with Walker. If they don't get training, then it seems that they would also have issues managing the grants in the first place.

Jun 7, 2013 12:20 pm
 Posted by  uwbiz96

The author is selective in his reading of the omnibus legislation. The demand isn't just that the CIJ leave campus, but that all UW faculty are PROHIBITED from working with it or having students engaged with it in any way. Indeed, that's the part of the motion that troubles most.

You're only telling half the story, Dave. The convenient half. The easy half.

Jun 8, 2013 12:34 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Watching blaska blather on about politics is like listening to Casey Anthony give me parenting advice.

Jun 8, 2013 12:50 pm
 Posted by  Marc E.

David Blaska writes:

Bill and I are in the same business. We are advocacy journalists – me from the right, Bill from the left. The difference is I admit it.

To be sure, we all our have our opinions. As journalists, it does color our perspective. That should be acknowledged. But unless you're a French post-modernist, like Monsieur Blaska, who thinks subjectivity trumps everything, it is not the main thing.

Reporting is a craft where you seek comments from all sides, especially the person cast in a negative light. Lueders unfailing does that in his reporting. Blaska doesn't do that in his opinion columns.

That's what separates opinion writing from reporting.

Bill is fully capable of writing opinion pieces and do reporting. So is David. But to argue that the two journalistic forms are essentially the same...well, it's so continental.

Jun 9, 2013 03:56 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

But the person cast in a negative light is always the conservative when the byline says Bill Lueders. Unless the subject is David Prosser, that is.

Jun 10, 2013 06:35 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Davie:

Just as any person to the left of Atilla the Hun is cast is a negative light and ridiculed in any of your opinion pieces.

Old Baldy

Jun 10, 2013 09:58 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Libertarians state they want transparency in government and less government in our lives. Yet these same people don't feel that way when it affects them. Walker not willing to disclose who paid his $650,000 legal bills for the John Doe Investigation, or disclose where and how (if they are) the Koch Brothers are financially affecting our government decisions.

What ever happened to Libertarians standing for our constitution? What about freedom of speech? Do you think those who are working in academia and are conservative, don't write for think tanks or conservative organizations? What about academic freedom? By the way, the Center of Investigative Journalism is financially supported by grants.

And does this mean Ann Althouse, Professor at the UW who has blogged, been on Fox News etc dealing with politics, not her "expert" area of law which is teaching. Shouldn't she also be then banned from doing this also?

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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